LANGLEY PRIMARY SCHOOL FACES CLOSURE

Langley Primary School is facing closure with a current enrolment of three pupils and no real prospect of further enrolments next year.
Alarm bells were first raised at the school last year as its enrolment of 43 pupils dropped steadily over 12 months down to just three pupils as of February this year.
The departures followed claims of bullying and students feeling unsafe due to extreme unruly behaviour by a small number of pupils.
Several staff members also left the school with some on Workcover claims.
Parents who removed their children from the school made formal complaints in writing to the Department of Education but were left dissatisfied with responses they believed inadequate.
Late last year the Department of Education engaged John McCarthy Consulting to undertake consultation with the school community to seek constructive feedback on the functioning and future direction of the school and provide a report on the outcomes.
Twenty-three separate consultations were conducted involving 32 members of the school community.
The consultants found that during 2018 there was a significant breakdown in the relationships between the principal and the school community including a significant number of parents and staff.
“The events of 2018 (and some events of late 2017) have fractured the school community leaving the school without a broad base of support on which to base its future,” the consultants found.
“With an enrolment of three students as at February 18 and little prospect of additional students in the immediate future the viability of the school is in serious doubt.
“Options for the future of the school range from the closure of the school either in the short term or at the end of 2019, to the maintenance of a prep-six school on the site supported by a significant campaign to increase enrolments.
“An alternative option proposed by the community, which would maintain an education presence on the site, would be to explore the establishment of an annexe arrangement with another primary school.
“Whatever the option chosen for the future of Langley Primary School, the department needs to be proactive in regaining the confidence of the community and its ability to be responsive to their concerns.”
A Department of Education spokesperson said no decision had been made on the future of the school beyond the 2019 school year.
“The department does not close schools. Decisions on school closures and mergers are made at the local school level, usually by a school council,” the spokesperson said.
The school council and principal did not return our phone calls.

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